How does a 3D Mammogram work?
A 3D mammogram (breast tomosynthesis) is an imaging test that combines several breast X-rays to create a 3D picture of the breast. It can be used to search for breast cancer in people who have no symptoms and it can also be used to investigate the cause of breast problems, such as a breast mass, pain and nipple discharge.
What is a 3D Mammogram used for?
A 3D mammogram can:
- Investigate common breast problems: a 3D mammogram can help detect common breast health issues such as masses or lumps, and identify the cause of other common issues such as breast pain and nipple discharge.
- Improve breast cancer detection in dense breast tissue: supportive breast tissue (also called dense breast tissue) and breast cancers both appear white in color on a standard mammogram. This can make it hard to detect and diagnose breast cancers in women and other patients with dense breasts. A 3D mammogram allows doctors to see beyond the areas of density and may improve breast cancer detection in these cases.
- Detect more cancers than a standard mammogram: Studies show that a 3D mammogram can result in about one more breast cancer for every 1,000 women screened when compared to a standard mammogram alone.